Hogan: ‘We are no longer asking’

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
This screen grab shows Gov. Larry Hogan speaking on live television Monday, announcing the stay-at-home order.

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday announced a stay-at-home order for Marylanders in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are no longer asking or suggesting,” he said in a live broadcast. “We will be enforcing these orders.”

Over the past three weeks, the state government has made a series of declarations intended to protect the public, followed in large measure by most citizens. But not all.

“Some people are still choosing to ignore executive orders and directives,” Gov. Hogan said. These individuals not only put their own health in jeopardy, but also risk infecting others.
Maryland had, on Monday morning, more than 1,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19. “Just in the past week, the number of positive cases has increased 319 percent,” Gov. Hogan said.

Cases in the Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia area more than quadrupled in the past week. There were more than 35,000 confirmed illnesses in the United States. The nation had suffered more than 2,500 deaths from COVID-19 by Monday, representing a doubling of the mortality rate in a few days.

“Unfortunately, we are only at the beginning of this crisis,” Gov. Hogan said. “It is going to get considerably worse before it gets better.”
The stay-at-home order requires that residents not leave their homes unless for an essential job or reason, such as buying groceries or medicines. Violations can be punished by a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
He said common sense should be used — getting outdoor exercise, or walking a dog is acceptable, but going out with a crowd, or doing unnecessary shopping is not.

The situation in the area is rapidly escalating. “This region is about to be hit,” Gov. Hogan said, adding that it could soon resemble the outbreak in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“I want to tell you right now, there are some very sick people here in Maryland,” Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health Fran Phillips said. She urged anyone with medical skills to consider volunteering to serve by visiting www.mdr.health.maryland.gov/

“We are going to get through this together,” the governor said. “Each and every one of us can do something to help our neighbors.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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